Carrot Spice Cake

IMG_4342Some weeks ago we went to Borough Market and had this amazing Carrot Spice Cake with coconut. Decided to give it a go and, last weekend, baked my own! It wasn’t exactly as the one from the market but it was really good and moist inside.

I baked a cake with some cream cheese frosting and some plain cupcakes. Both were delicious! The recipe under is solely for one cake.

Carrot Spice Cake

  • 150 g of flour
  • 1 tea spoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 tea spoon of baking soda
  • 1 tea spoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tea spoon of ground nutmeg
  • 225 g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 275 g of carrots
  • 1/3 tin of crushed pineapple (total used: 144 g net)
  • 100 g of chopped walnuts (reserve some to decorate)
  • 40 g of flaked coconut
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 170ºC.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, the cinnamon and the nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl mix the sugar with the eggs and the oil. Add the flour mix, stirring well.
  4. Peel the carrots and grate them thinly. Add it to the batter.IMG_4226
  5. Add the pineapple, the walnuts and the coconut and mix well.IMG_4235
  6. Grease a cake tin (20 cm / 8”) with butter and sprinkle with flour. Pour the cake dough into the tin and cook in the oven for approximately 35 minutes. Note that the cake will be quite moist inside and will gain some additional consistency after cooling down. IMG_4238
  7. Serve simple or with some cream cheese frosting (recipe under).

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 9 tbsp of cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • 12 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla essence
  • crushed walnut and flaked coconut to decorate
  1. In a bowl mix the cream cheese, the butter, the sugar and the vanilla. Whisk well until you get a smooth and glowing frosting.
  2. When the cake has completely cooled down, using a spatula, cover the top of the cake with the frosting. You can be creative here!
  3. Sprinkle the frosting with some crushed walnuts and flaked coconut.
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Sunday Roast

IMG_4132Every time I’m in a new country I try to adjust to their habits in order to properly experience the country. Being food a big part of a country’s identity, and something I love, I usually start there!

In the UK there are a couple of things I became addicted to: English breakfast, scones with clotted cream and jam, and Sunday roast!

Last Sunday I decided to give it a go on a beef Sunday roast. Typically I’m not a big fan of gravy because it tends to cover the whole food and just “hide” the different flavours. So, I decided to do a mild gravy, almost fat free, with white wine and kale stock. It was really good!

Sunday Roast (serves 6)

Roasted Beef:

  • 1350 g of boned joint beef with a limited amount of fat
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 6-10 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh sage, salt and pepper

Gravy:

  • juices from roasting the meat
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 100 ml of white wine
  • 1 l of stock from boiling the kale

Vegetables:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 swede
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
  • salt and pepper
  • kale

Extra:

  • 6  Yorkshire puddings (I used frozen ones that you cook on the oven for some minutes before serving)
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 240ºC.
  2. Start by preparing the Roasted Beef.
  3. Peel the carrots and the onions. Slice the carrots in thick slices and cut the onions in halves and then each half in 6 pieces.
  4. Place the carrots and the onions on a large oven tray. Season with the washed thyme, rosemary and sage. Add the garlic cloves unpeeled and slightly smashed. Sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Place the piece of beef on a chopping board and, using your hands, cover it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place it on top of the vegetables.IMG_4092
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 200ºC. Place the oven tray with the carrots, onions and meat on the oven and let it cook between 50 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time of cooking will depend on how well done you want the meat and on your oven potency. I cooked mine for approximately 50 minutes in order to get it quite raw.
  7. You should baste the meat halfway the cooking and, in case the vegetables get too dry, add a bit of water.
  8. When the meat is in the oven start preparing the vegetables.
  9. Wash the potatoes and peel the suede, the butternut squash and the onion. Cut the vegetables in big pieces and wash them thoroughly.
  10. Place the vegetables in an oven tray. Season with some fresh thyme, rosemary and sage, salt and pepper. Add the 3 unpeeled and smashed garlic cloves, the olive oil and a splash of water.
  11. Cook the vegetables in the oven for approximately 35-45 minutes. Initially, this will cook at the same time as the meat. You can simply place the vegetables in the oven bottom.
  12.  When the meat is cooked, remove the tray from the oven and place the piece of meat on a chopping board. Let it rest for 15 minutes. After this time, cover it with some metal foil and a cloth to keep the temperature.IMG_4106
  13. After removing the meat to the chopping board, put a big pan on the hob and cook the washed kale on boiling salted water until the kale is tender.
  14. While the meat rests and the vegetables cook, start working on the gravy. Remove the carrots and the onions from the oven tray. Keep them in a warm place to be served with the roast.
  15. Keep around 5 slices of carrot on the tray. Place the tray on top of the hob on low fire. Mash the carrots and add the flour to this mixture. Add the wine and stir well. Then, add the stock and let it cook until it boils for a couple of minutes. IMG_4113
  16. Pour the mixture into a pan, making sure you scrap any remaining cooking juices from the tray, and add any other juices that the meat might have released while resting. Let it cook until the gravy gets the wanted consistency. Sieve the gravy into a bowl.
  17. By now, the meat will be cooked, rested and kept under the foil and the cloth; the carrots and onions will be ready to serve; the vegetables will be roasted and resting; the kale will be cooked; and the gravy finished. IMG_4111
  18. In case any of the ingredients is a bit cold just put it in the oven to heat for some minutes, while you cook or heat the Yorkshire puddings.
  19. Slice the meat thinly and serve the Sunday roast on the plates by placing 2 or 3 slices of meat in each plate, 1 Yorkshire pudding, roasted vegetables, carrots and kale. Pour the gravy on top.

Pancakes

IMG_4026

I love Saturday mornings and long breakfasts. This week I decided to go with a sweet breakfast and cook some pancakes!

Besides my traditional pancakes, I also decided to try and cook some American style pancakes with blueberries. Quite nice but I still prefer the thinner ones with a nice topping. Here are both recipes.

 

Pancakes (serves 4)

  • 250 g of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 dl of milk
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 70 g of butter
  • butter
  1. In a bowl mix the flour, the eggs, the milk and the sugar.
  2. Melt the butter and add it to the mixture.
  3. If needed, use a food processor to make sure the dough is smooth.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan and reduce the fire to low. Grease the frying pan with some butter.
  5. Pour a small portion of dough on the frying pan until you reach the pancake size you want. I usually make two at the same time.
  6. Let the pancake cook until you star seeing small holes n top of the pancake. Turn the pancake and let it cook on the other side. When both sides are golden the pancake is ready to serve. IMG_4022
  7. Repeat until you run out of dough.
  8. Serve with cream, strawberries, banana, chocolate, icing sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, golden syrup, or any other ingredients you may like.IMG_4027

 

Blueberry American Pancakes (serves 4)

  • 3 eggs
  • 120 g of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 150 g of milk
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 100 g of blueberries (or raspberries)
  • butter
  • icing sugar
  1. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, the flour, the baking powder, the milk and the 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and, if needed, use a food processor to make sure the dough is smooth.
  2. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they get thick and don’t fall from the bowl when you turn it.
  3. Mix the egg whites in the remaining dough.
  4. Add the blueberries.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan and reduce the fire to low. Grease the frying pan with some butter.
  6. Pour a small portion of dough on the frying pan until you reach the pancake size you want. I made one big pancake each time. IMG_4036
  7. Let the pancake cook until you star seeing small holes on top of the pancake. Turn the pancake and let it cook on the other side. When both sides are golden the pancake is ready to serve.
  8. Repeat until you run out of dough.
  9. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.IMG_4049